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Computer Simulates Schools of Fishlike Underwater Research Drones

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rummy-nose tetra fish

Experiments show that rummy-nose tetra fish cannot maintain schooling behavior when lateral-line sensing is inactivated.

Credit: Getty Images

Researchers at Russia's Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, France's ESPCI Paris, Japan's Chiba University, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology have created a three-dimensional simulation of small fish swimming that could improve aquatic research robots designed to mimic fish behavior.

The simulation of two rummy nose tetra fish swimming adjacently in different configurations showed that they sense the position and tail beat of their neighbors as water pressure variation on their sides, according to the team's published research. The work may help maximize the efficiency of groups of swimming robots even in the absence of visual cues.

"While we don't know how the animals process them, the simulation shows that signals reaching the tactile sense organs are intelligible against the background noise and carry information about the neighbor's position and tail movement," says Dmitry Kolomenskiy, an assistant professor at the Skoltech Center for Materials Technologies.

From Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
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